Published: 14 September 2021
Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs in respect of cyclists who ride against the traffic or beat red lights (a) what is the duty of care expected by the Traffic Police of all motorists (who are otherwise traversing public roads lawfully) towards such cyclists; (b) whether motorists will be penalised by way of demerits points or fines in the event of any ensuing accident; and (c) what actions will be taken against such cyclists for accidents caused as a result.
1. All roads users – including cyclists – are required by law to use roads in a safe and responsible way. Road users who flout traffic rules and drive or ride in an irresponsible manner put themselves and other road users at risk.
2. Parties at fault will be penalised under the law. For example, cyclists who ride against the flow of traffic or fail to conform to traffic light signals, or ride without due regard for the safety of others, may be liable for an offence. First-time offenders may be fined up to $1,000, imprisoned up to three months, or both. Repeat offenders may be fined up to $2,000, imprisoned up to six months, or both. For egregious cases which result in an accident and injury to other road users, harsher punishments under the Penal Code will be imposed.
3. The MP has also asked about the duty of care of motorists towards cyclists who may be cycling against the flow of traffic. It is difficult to give a general response, (since the law is often fact specific), beyond stating that every road user owes a duty of care towards other road users. Members will however appreciate that it does not automatically mean that motorists can ignore another road user who may be in breach of the rules. For example the fact that a pedestrian is crossing the road at a wrong place, does not automatically mean that a motorist can ignore him, and drive into the pedestrian (and cause serious injury), when the motorist could have in fact stopped in time. In such cases, both parties may be liable, under different traffic rules. And Civil law also has a way of apportioning the responsibilities, when claims are made.